Google Inc., which has been trying to boost its patent portfolio, is among the companies interested in bidding for InterDigital Inc., a mobile-phone technology designer, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The person declined to be identified because the process is private. InterDigital, which has about 1,300 patents related to mobile-phone technologies used to transfer information, hired bankers as it considers a sale, the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement yesterday.
With InterDigital, Google would gain patents in mobile- phone technology after losing in a bid for the $4.5 billion portfolio of Nortel Networks Corp. to a group that included rivals Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Google said in April it bid for Nortel patents to help defend itself against litigation involving intellectual property.
InterDigital’s patents in cellular technology are “deeper and stronger” than Nortel’s, Chief Executive Officer William Merritt said in April.
Evercore Partners Inc. and Barclays Capital will “explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives” that may include a sale, the company said.
Aaron Zamost, a spokesman for Google, and Jack Indekeu, a spokesman for InterDigital, declined to comment.
Shares of InterDigital rose $7.70, or 14 percent, to $60.96 at 12:32 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market, after surging 28 percent yesterday. Google, based in Mountain View, California, fell $6.71 to $595.84.
The Wall Street Journal reported Google’s interest earlier today.
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